You’ve read about the 10 celebrities who had to change their names (for good reasons) before they were famous. Now, allow us to let you in on some of the world’s most popular celebrities/icons who were, believe it or not, pretty much homeless before they catapulted into the limelight.
Of course, these celebrities aren’t homeless anymore. In fact, some of them have done quite well for themselves in the recent decade. So much so that you wouldn’t have imagined that they were once without the basic necessities of clean sheets, hot water, a bed to sleep in, and a roof over their heads.
1. Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig’s early appearances were in the films “Elizabeth”, “The Power of One”, “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court”, as well as in the television series “Sharpe’s Eagle” and “Zorro”. His appearances in the British films “Love Is the Devil”, T”he Trench”, and “Some Voices” attracted the industry’s attention, leading to roles in bigger productions such as “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, “Road to Perdition”, “Layer Cake”, and “Munich”. He achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond 007 in the official series, replacing Pierce Brosnan. But he wasn’t always the butt-kicking secret agent James Bond. As he pursued his acting dreams, he was forced to sleep on park benches in London.
2. Steve Jobs
As the movie “Jobs” would suggest, Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he is widely recognised as a charismatic and design-driven pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies”. He also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006. Sure, he was a technological revolutionary. But before he changed the world with his Apple products, Jobs slept on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms during college because he didn’t have anywhere else to go.
3. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is a Canadian American actor, comedian, and producer. Known for his highly energetic slapstick performances and his “rubber face”, he has been described as one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. His first leading roles in major productions came with “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)”, “Dumb and Dumber (1994)”, “The Mask (1994)”, and “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)”. His other movies include “Liar Liar”, “The Truman Show”, and “Man on the Moon”. But in a time before winning 2 out of 4 Golden Globe Award nominations, Jim Carrey’s family hit hard times, his mom became seriously ill, he dropped out of school at the age of 16, and they were forced to live in a tent and their VW bus. Funny, indeed, how things have turned out for him. Jim Carrey will reprise his “Dumb and Dumber” role in the sequel, “Dumb and Dumber To“.
4. Halle Berry
Halle Berry is an American actress and former fashion model. Before becoming an actress, she entered several beauty contests, finishing as the 1st runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant and coming in 6th place in the Miss World Pageant in 1986. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her performance in Monster’s Ball, becoming the first and, as of 2014, the only woman of African-American descent to win an Oscar for a leading role. She was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood during the 2000s and has been involved in the production side of several of the films in which she performed. However, Halle Berry once revealed in an interview that she was homeless at the age of 21 after moving to Chicago. “I became a person who knows that I will always make my own way,” she said.
5. Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank is an American actress who made her film debut in a minor role in the 1992 comedy film “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” before starring in her breakout lead role in the fourth instalment of the “The Karate Kid” franchise, “The Next Karate Kid” in 1994, alongside Pat Morita. She garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in the 1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry”, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama”. Her other films include, “The Gift (2000)”, “Insomnia (2002)”, “Iron Jawed Angels (2004)”, “The Reaping (2007)”, “P.S. I Love You (2007)”, “Freedom Writers (2007)”, the biographical aviation film “Amelia (2009)”, and “New Year’s Eve (2011)”. She received a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” in 2007. But life wasn’t always peachy for Hilary. Her parents divorced when she was 13, leading her and her mother to decide to move to LA for her acting aspirations. They lived out of their car and booked auditions over pay phones until they scraped enough money to get an apartment.
6. Dr. Phil
Phillip Calvin “Phil” McGraw, known as Dr. Phil, is an American television personality, author, psychologist, and the host of the television show “Dr. Phil”, which debuted in 2002. He first gained celebrity status with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s. His appearance proved so successful that he began appearing weekly as a relationship and life strategy expert on Tuesdays starting in April 1998. But he certainly came from humble beginnings. Very humble, in fact. During his childhood, his family moved so his father could pursue a lifelong goal of becoming a psychologist. Thus, as a child, he had to resort to living in a car with his father while he interned as a psychologist.
7. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson is an American singer and songwriter. In 2002, she rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol, and has since been established as “The Original American Idol”. Her debut single, “A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and broke the record for the biggest jump to number one in the chart’s history; it became the best-selling single of the year in the country. She became the runner-up of World Idol the following year. Her debut studio album, “Thankful” (2003), was certified 2× platinum and sold over 4.5 million copies internationally. Its lead single, “Miss Independent”, became an international hit, earning Clarkson her first Grammy nomination. However, long before the spotlight, Kelly Clarkson had to live in a car and shelters after a tragic fire at her apartment. This was right before she became an “American Idol” star.
8. Lil’ Kim
Lil’ Kim is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, model, and actress. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In her teens, Jones would freestyle rap, heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross, and fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. Performing a freestyle rap for The Notorious B.I.G. got her music career start in 1995 with his group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album “Conspiracy” generated 3 hit singles. Her debut studio album, “Hard Core” (1996) was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and spawned three consecutive No. 1 rap hits: “No Time”, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night remix)”, and “Crush on You”, a record for a female rapper. However, before hitting it big with P.Diddy and The Notorious B.I.G, Lil Kim lived much of her adolescent life on the streets. This was because she was expelled from home. Yes, Lil’ Kim was a homeless teen after being kicked out of her home by her own father!
9. Jennifer Lopez
She calls herself “Jenny from The Block” and, well, for good reasons! Today, Jennifer Lopez is an American actress, author, fashion designer, dancer, producer, singer, and songwriter. She received her first leading role in the “Selena” biopic of the same name in 1997. Jennifer Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a role the following year, with the film, “Out of Sight”. She then ventured into the music industry in 1999 with her debut studio album, “On the 6”, joining a select few in successfully converting from a film to a music career. But Jennifer Lopez wasn’t always one of the worlds most influential celebrities. Before her big break as a backup dancer in 1991, Jenny slept on the sofa in the studio of a dance class she attended because her parents disagreed with her decision to pursue a career in Hollywood.
10. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone is an American actor, screenwriter and film director who is well known for his Hollywood action roles, especially his roles as boxer Rocky Balboa and soldier John Rambo. He wrote every episode of the 2 eponymous franchises and directed some of their instalments as well. They were so wildly popular that “Rocky” was inducted into the National Film Registry as well as having its film props placed in the Smithsonian Museum. Sylvester Stallone’s use of the front entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the “Rocky” series led the area to be nicknamed the “Rocky Steps”. Philadelphia even has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum! Hence, you’d be shellshocked to know that he was briefly homeless in the past, after being evicted from his apartment. He turned to sleeping in the New York City Port Authority bus station before seeing a casting notice for the 1970 soft-core pornography film “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s”. The USD200 he earned help him get back on his feet.
11. Sam Worthington
We bet you didn’t see this one coming! Sam Worthington is an English-born Australian actor who predominantly in leading roles in a variety of low-budget films before moving to major studio films, ranging from romantic drama and comedy-drama to science fiction and action. He’s best known for the portrayals of Jake Sully in “Avatar”, Marcus Wright in “Terminator Salvation”, Perseus in “Clash of the Titans” and its sequel, “Wrath of the Titans”, and Alex Mason in the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and its sequel “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”. In 2004, he received Australia’s highest film award for his lead performance in “Somersault”. But award aside, when Sam Worthington successfully auditioned for “Avatar”, he was living out of a car he bought with the $2,000 proceeds from selling all of his possessions.
12. Kurt Cobain
The late Kurt Cobain was an American musician who was best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from its second album “Nevermind” (1991). Following the success of “Nevermind”, Nirvana was labeled “the flagship band” of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as “the spokesman of a generation”. Heroin addiction and battles with depression aside, Kurt Cobain was pretty much living in a slum before Nirvana. He was homeless for a time and have previously said to have lived under a bridge and slept in hospital waiting rooms.
Did some of the above “findings” shock you as much as they shocked us? Which ones shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments box below!